Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A bad day

Last meal in Quepos

I left my beloved Quepos after 6 weeks to go discover the unknown once more. I took the late bus to San Jose at 5 in the afternoon. I got to San Jose at around 8.30 and Eddie, a friend of Sidey's (my home-stay mom) was already waiting for me to drive me to the airport. So far so good. When I got to the airport, I weighed my bags on an empty check-in counter's scale. I realized I had about 2 kg more than the 18kg allowed in both checked in bags. So I took things out and put it in my carry-on luggage to avoid having to pay for overweight. My carry-on was quite heavy after that. Check-in only started about 2 hours before the flight's departure. It was the only flight of the night and the airport was almost a ghostport when I got there. But we finally checked-in, boarded and took off. I already was quite tired having gotten up at 7 in the morning. But it was especially hard to sleep in this plane, having no way to move the seat and put my head halfway comfortably.

The flight was without particular events and uninteresting. Spirit's the equivalent of our EasyJet.

We landed in Florida a bit late, as we took off some 45 minutes or so later than scheduled. The security in the United States is absolutely awful. First you go through a passport check where they take a picture and fingerprints. Then you take your luggage. Then you go through the customs with the luggage. It all took me about an hour to get out. But hey, no hurry, I had plenty of time. But after that, when I wanted to check my luggage in for the next flight, the guy at the counter told me I had to buy a ticket out of the Dominican Republic before I could do that. And I had to go to the regular check-in counters for that.

So up I went, to the regular check-in counters. There I booked a ticket for $181 with Spirit. As I checked in with them. Luckily I could cancel it in the 24 hours after buying it.

So I went out of the airport with a taxi. It cost me about $24 to go to a nearby shopping mall where I could find everything I needed. I bought a Go Pro Hero 3+ Black edition to replace the stolen one, a hair trimmer and clipper, S-biner double hooks for diving, a pair of shorts, two pairs of underwear for diving, spare batteries for my two torches (one diving and one normal) and some other things. Everything had to fit into my already overweight carry-on. It fit, but it was oh so overweight.

I got through security where they took out the batteries and tested them with some chemical. They also tested the laptop. But after that I was through and ready to go. When I boarded the previous flight, there was a quick search of the carry-on during the boarding, but this time, nothing of the sort. Happy, I boarded the plane and we took off on time. We landed in Santo Domingo before the actual scheduled time.

When I got out of security, which was really quick, about 15 minutes total I think, I realized I forgot to take Richard's number. Richard being my new jeffe. But about 30 minutes later, a guy with a diving t-shirt approached me and asked if I was Marcel. I (still) had a diving bag.

We drove off to Juan Dolio, where we quickly visited the hotel and dive shop and where I also left my diving bag. Then we went to a restaurant where Richard's wife and kids were having a paella with some friends. It was good and interesting.

Now let's start the bad day story.

My new home
The following morning I woke up and went to the dive center in my car. I took the right road but stopped at a hotel that wasn't the one I had to go. So I wanted to drive the car away again, but nothing happened. As the door handle only work from outside, and I couldn't open the windows, I was trapped inside the car. Luckily a guy walking by opened the door for me. I called Richard and he brought me over to the correct hotel. The car has later been moved by someone.

While I went in for breakfast, Richard took the keys of the shop and went to open it and prepare for the day. When I came along a few minutes later, I saw my boots, my weight pockets and my PADI Guide to Teaching. But the rest was gone. Richard thought I came in the evening to get some things, but I didn't. It was gone. For real. The lock had been forced. They also stole Richard's computer.

Later some French came in for their Discover Scuba Diving program. I had no trouble going through, as I luckily had my slates for this. It is a fairly easy program as there are only a few skills and a few things for them to know. But during that time, I managed to break the key of the office door in the shop.

Later I had to go to the police to report the robbery. I tried not speaking too much Spanish as I had to pass for a tourist. It didn't work out quite well, as Eduard, the head of security at the hotel, was with me and didn't really say much.

Their was a night dive, but I didn't go, unless something happened there too.


Mon nouvel uniforme
Alors voila, pour la seconde fois quand j'arrive dans un nouveau pays, je me fais voler des affaires. Cette fois j'ai perdu tout mon équipement de plongée. Le soir d'avant, quand Richard m'a emmené de l'aéroport, nous sommes passés au centre de plongée. Là j'ai pris mon sac de plongée et l'ai laissé au centre. Je n'ai rien déballé, n'ayant pas beaucoup de temps le soir même.

Le lendemain, quand nous sommes revenu, le sac était parti en vadrouille et le laptop à Richard aussi.

Après j'ai aussi cassé une clé et avant j'ai eu la batterie de ma voiture morte. Bouh...

Bon aller, je recommence depuis le début. Quand j'ai quitté Quepos après 6 semaines, j'étais un instructeur de plongée. J'avais déjà trouvé un travail auparavant et même réservé le vol pour la République Dominicaine.

J'ai pris le bus pour San Jose à 17h et y suis arrivé vers les 20h30. Là l'ami de ma maman de Quepos m'attendait déjà. Eddie est conducteur de taxi rojo. Il m'a emmené à l'aéroport déserté. Le seul vol de la nuit serait le nôtre il semblait. La majorité des boutiques étaient fermées, et le check-in ne commencerait que 2h avant le départ. Pas grave, j'ai discuté avec deux Indiens vivant en Floride (des Indiens d'Inde) et un Dominicain qui vit au Costa Rica mais qui a encore beaucoup de choses, dont des maisons, en Floride.

J'ai pesé mes sacs à un comptoir et ai réalisé que j'avais 2 kg de trop dans chacun des sacs. J'ai donc extrait ces deux kilos et les ai mis dans mon sac à dos de cabine. Après cela, j'ai pris mon vol qui avait du retard et pendant lequel j'ai somnolé, mais jamais vraiment dormi. Arrivé en Floride j'ai pris un taxi aller à $24 et retour à $20 de l'aéroport à un shopping mall pour acheter toutes sortes de choses utiles: une GoPro Hero 3+ Black pour remplacer celle volée au Costa Rica, une tondeuse à cheveux, des batteries pour mes deux lampes torches (une de plongée et une générale), un short, des sous-vêtement de sport pour plonger, des crochets et quelques autres trucs. Tout devait rentrer dans ce sac à dos déjà en surpoids. Pas de problème.

Mon nouveau chez moi
Il faut tout de même toucher un mot sur la paranoia des Etats Unis: leur sécurité est absolument incroyable. Il faut passer au contrôle du passeport à la sortie de l'avion où l'on se fait prendre en photo et on laisse ses empreintes digitales, ensuite on récupère ses bagages et on passe par la douane. Tout ça m'a quand même pris une heure. Sans compter que j'ai refait une file pour acheter un billet retour de la République Dominicaine, sans quoi je ne pouvais pas prendre l'avion. Je n'en ai pas eu besoin et j'ai pu l'annuler.

Arrivé en République Dominicaine, j'ai eu un peu peur que Richard oublie de venir me chercher, mais il n'avait pas oublié. Je n'avais pas pensé à prendre son numéro avant de venir...

La suite vous la connaissez du début.